The Difference One Year Can Make

imagesI got some happy news today…. they are taking my dad completely off of sedation tomorrow! Last time they did this, he came back pretty clear mentally, so to say we’re excited would be a gigantic understatement. I’m hoping he hasn’t suffered any strokes from the blood clots they found, but he’s moving all of his limbs freely, so it would seem he is probably fine. Tomorrow will tell…

It was a pretty cool week. I got to spend time with an old friend who had been going through the same marital hell I was experiencing at the same time I was experiencing it. There’s something comforting in knowing that you reacted pretty much the same way someone else did. The fears for the future were the same as well, and I felt like we understood something that not everyone in the world would… It seemed tantamount to showing each other the scars from wounds we’d suffered in different battles of the same war. There was no need to delve into our imaginations to summon up examples for an empathetic yet inexperienced friend; just a few words were enough to bring back just how much all of this hurt. Some bonds don’t break without a lot of tearing of the heart, and it’s amazing how you can recognize those heartbreak veterans without them saying a word.

I had returned to Tulsa to retrieve some paperwork for Rebekkah since she is starting school in January, and my reaction to the place bothered me a lot. It seemed the minute I tulsa-stormused to knowentered the state of Oklahoma, my thoughts kept returning to Chef’s addiction, his affair, and all of the tears I shed over this whole mess. I kept mentally shooing those heavy thoughts away, only to find myself mired in them again and again and again. The same seemed to be going on with Rebekkah, and after the couple of days we were there had passed, we lit a fire speeding back to Austin. The clouds in our minds cleared as we returned here, and I have to admit, Tulsa might be ruined for me after all that happened there. Chef is making plans to return to Texas as well, and I hope that he finds it healing to leave the past and her mistakes behind him as well.

I’ve read untold numbers of infidelity stories, both on blogs and from people who email me their own versions of Hell On Earth, and I’m encouraged at the rate of healing I’m experiencing myself. One year ago this month, I had just moved into my ghetto apartment, and was taking Xanax just to get through my day. These days, I’m fairly even-keeled. My emotions don’t fly back and forth like some crazed pendulum. The more I’ve pulled away from him, the more Chef seems to miss me. What a sad irony that is! Where I once dreamed feverishly of him begging me to return, now I pray diligently for him to be able to move on without me. I don’t want to have my marriage back.

So, to all the veterans of heartbreak warfare, I promise you… there will be a time when all of this seems different. It’ll always have the power to hurt you, especially if it was something you really valued; but, it isn’t the last time you will value something. Life goes on, and we flow along with it. Storms are powerful, and they scrape up things from the bottom of our hearts that we’d prefer remain hidden from ourselves and others forever. Time helps us gather the trash of our lives from the beaches of our minds, and burn them, never being afraid they will surface again to torment us. These storms don’t last forever, though, and your life will feel different..hopefully, cleaner, and you will come to realize you were so much stronger than you had ever thought you really were. And for some, like me, you’ll be a little wiser the next time around what you put on the throne of your own life. One’s happiness should never be completely in the hands of someone else.

Happy November!

— Bird


Everyone Has A Story…Some Are, However, Funnier Than Others

Gather, children. Let me tell you a story.

Once upon a time, a very financially stable, yet mysteriously angry,  elderly woman drove her motorized wheelchair into the most expensive, all-natural, ridiculously over-priced

Meet my neighbors.
Meet my neighbors.

organic, our-chickens-are-hand-fed-with-golden-spoons-and-our-cows-only-had-to-chew-their-food-once meats and pampered garden produce, grocery store in Tulsa, and proceeded to use her transport to knock  other elderly female shoppers down! Yep. Three of those unsuspecting women hit the floor, victims of a hit-and-run motorized wheelchair driver. One minute they are standing, counting calories and whatever else the healthy humans do in those stores, and then boom! They’re sprawled out right there on the floor by the tofu hot dogs and bean curd jelly. Do you think they ever in their lives saw that coming? I’m betting they didn’t.

What could be more visually disturbing yet comically satisfying than to see a person who basically has a total Get-Out-Of-Jail-Free-Because-I-Can’t-Walk pass from society wreak absolute havoc on the most sheltered, pampered consumers Tulsa has to offer, in the most civilized, classy grocery store ever? I’m thinking most of these Healthy People have never shopped down the street at the Warehouse Market, where I personally saw a man beat up his wife in Aisle 5 next to the Almost-Meat and Ketchup, while we innocent bystanders scattered like roaches so we wouldn’t be caught for hours and hours in the grocery store during the police investigation. Please note: That incident wasn’t hilarious, and it was very bloody and disturbing on many, many levels. But since there was no blood, and no serious injuries, Angry Wheelchair Lady just makes me laugh.

Trust me. Things could always be worse.
Trust me. Things could always be worse.

Yesterday, I had the awesome luck to be the one to pick up Wendy (not her real name, but she reminds me of Peter Pan’s Wendy, so we’ll go with that) from her job at that Heathly-R-Us store. She’s young, and things like this tend to rattle the youthful American adult born and raised in the Bible Belt, but to me, that kind of incident is the frosting on the cake of life. I just wished Wendy had called me when the first hit-and-run victim hit the floor. I would have broke every traffic law trying to get to that hoity-toity store just to catch a glimpse of The Angry Elderly, Yet Health-Conscious and Environmentally Responsible, Wheelchair Lady making her 5 mph getaway from each scene of the rampage, leaving a downed, confused, yet elegant and immaculately groomed, victim looking into the fluorescent heavens. There were three  victims...3! And they weren’t even each on the same aisles or anywhere near one another. Surely store management could have issued a warning on the intercom that a crazed wheelbound woman was knocking down people with her ride? Well, I know where I don’t want to be in case a terrorist cell comes to Tulsa.

They could have saved so many egos…lol.. But alas…the whole store was paralyzed with surprise and fear. And, as quick as it began, the assault was over. Her thirst for blood was sated, and she returned to her shopping like nothing out of the ordinary had happened. Evidently, security let her finish her shopping unmolested, pay, and then leave. In all fairness though, I’m sure this particular store’s security force had no idea they would ever have to deal with this sort of crime. How do you handle an OJ Simpson-like wheelchair getaway in a fancy all-organic, anti-violence against man, animal, or vegetable establishment? Ahhh, the chains that bind…lol.

Did you all know that Tulsa is also the magnificent city that gave the world the Walmart Meth Cook who, being financially strapped, decided to go ahead and borrow some meth cookersupplies and prepare a batch of satan’s sunshine right there in Walmart? That story made national news…of course.  You’re welcome, America.

A while back, a very rare, very sought-after spider was sent carefully 1000’s of miles to one of our universities so it could be studied, cataloged, and whatever else scientists do with poisonous, creepy insects from around the world.  When it arrived, someone killed it, thinking it was just another Oklahoma spider. Smashed it. That story made national news, too. Again, you’re welcome, world. 🙂

It always seems when a story from Tulsa generates enough interest to make it to national news, it makes us Okies look simple, stupid, or just plain clueless. I used to hate that perceived perception a lot, but I’ve come to understand and embrace the eccentricities of simple, practical, logical people. And one thing you can’t call Okies is dull. This particular state may have some peculiarities, but it’s citizens aren’t boring.

spiderI now applaud the guy who smashed the spider. In the end, one less spider on the earth is one more drop of happiness in my bucket of life. And I respect the Walmart Meth Cook who wanted to ply her trade bad enough that she’d risk blowing up a Walmart in the wee hours of the morning in order to do it. You can’t win if you don’t play, right? Of course, I respect the guys who caught her and took away the explosive materials even more, but there is a certain amount of hope and satisfaction I get when someone has a new, unique, different story to tell about their own life. Yes, Walmart Meth Cook will be telling hers to people with their own stories who will probably beat her up for aiming so high,  but there are going to be generations of people that will remember her incident. I’m writing about it here, aren’t I? And, as drug busts go, it takes something really different to make national news, and she managed to capture the nation’s attention for a minute or two. That isn’t all that easy, I’m thinking. You go, girl. They teach classes in prison. Maybe focus on something besides chemistry.

I would dearly love to sit down with the Angry Wheelchair Driver to find out what her mission was, and why. What had made her so angry that she felt she had to strike back? I want to know her story. Did her random, seemingly unwarranted acts of violence make her feel better? Or worse? I hope she just did it on a dare…I really, really do. 🙂 Wouldn’t that just be too funny?

People who do weird, unexpected things are remembered. Maybe not in a good way like Winston Churchill or Abraham Lincoln, but nevertheless, their existence on this earth is first impression imprinted in some memories and though their names may be forgotten, their actions will make people laugh and chuckle once in awhile… Those who blend seamlessly in society are forgotten quickly and permanently. We’ll all eventually be forgotten, but don’t we all want that to happen long after we die, and not the minute we walk out of a room?

I write this whole post for two reasons. One, I have this fantastic picture of my neighbors riding to the store on a Sterling Emerald Mobility Scooter that I wanted to show you guys, and two, to encourage you all to embrace your individuality, no matter how shocking and bizarre it is. On some instinctual level, I guess we are pack animals, but because of our God and our thumbs, we needn’t stop there. Enjoy the strange people around you, and strive to be someone people will remember. Listen to other’s stories, share yours, and don’t be afraid to add a twist or two to your own existence. We only live once. Leave an impression.

🙂 Bird